Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Dosa Case for Diversity!

Here is an incident which happened quite recently in my life and strengthened my belief that diversity may at many times lead to very creative solutions. It all happened on Nov 21st, 2004 at my apartment in Princeton after the documentary screening and talk by Sri Prakash organized by the Princeton chapter of AID.

It was decided that a couple of us will get together at my place for idlis and I had made the batter the previous night. As it turned out, I had used the wrong rice to urad dal ratio. Unexpectedly, the first batch of idlis looked like !@#$%^&*^%$#@@!. To redeem the situation, we then tried making a dosa out of it, but that too didnt look promising at all. The conclusion reached by all of us was that the mix was lacking a good binder. Had I been handling this all alone, things would have taken a different course all together. This is where diversity really helped us out. Anirban, one of our friends, suggested that we set aside some batter and experiment with adding eggs in it. Being someone who doesnt particularly like eggs and hence never buys eggs, this was something I would never have thought of myself. We follow his suggestion and hurray, we have a nice tasty dosa pancake. But then Bala doesnt eat eggs. And now time for another solution to the same problem. He does a google search and figures out the wheat flour can also be used as a binder. And so, thanks to diversity we have two different interesting solutions to the same problem. Had I not dared to experiment with making idlis from scratch and had there not been different kinds of people, this would never have been possible.

Conclusions: Dare to experiment, diversity is great.

Acknowledgements: Many thanks to Sri Prakash for visiting Princeton, without which all of these wouldn't take place at all. Thanks to Satyen and Yogesh for making the chutney, (thanks also to their dirt devil :) and to Bala for making most of the dosas!